Partner Spotlight: Pete & Gerry’s

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This week we are highlighting a local farm where we source cage-free eggs for many of our recipes: Pete and Gerry’s. Pete and Gerry’s farm is located in Monroe, NH and has been family owned since the 1950s –now operated by CEO, Jesse Laflamme, and his father, Gerry Laflamme. Pete and Gerry’s is one of the only producers on their scale to be 100% cage free, and were the first egg producer to achieve Certified Humane status in 2003. Their commitment to the healthiest, best-tasting and high-quality eggs is possible only through their humane farming practices–which consist of forming relationships with other small family farms and creating a safe, rewarding work environment for their employees. All of the roughly 40 small family farms producing for Pete and Gerry’s must meet Certified Humane standards and pass their regular inspections and audits.

Pete and Gerry’s commitment to sustainability sets it apart from other egg producers. Their loyalty comes from the desire to not only leave a great family business behind, but also to leave the planet, employees, livestock and community better off.

To learn more about Pete and Gerry’s farm, visit their website here.

Partner Spotlight: New England Charcuterie

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This week we are highlighting a local company where we source meat products: New England Charcuterie. Located in Waltham, MA, New England Charcuterie is owned and operated by Joshua Smith who started the company in 2014.

Josh sparked his culinary passion at Dean and Deluca’s flagship store in Charlotte, NC, where he learned the intricacies of artisanal charcuterie. After spending a few years there, Josh eventually settled in New England due to the large number of local farms that he could use for sourcing his meat products. When working with the meat, Josh treats each portion with the respect that it deserves in order to exceed his customers’ expectations. He is also inspired by the shops and villages throughout Europe, and uses ancient techniques of curing and preserving.

Josh and his team pride themselves in supplying the best wholesome and naturally farm raised products in Massachusetts.

Stay tuned for limited- time recipe offerings created by Josh in an upcoming Just Add Cooking box!

To learn more about New England Charcuterie, visit their website here.

Partner Spotlight: Nashoba Brook Bakery

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This week we are highlighting one of the companies we use to source our fresh baguettes: Nashoba Brook Bakery. Nashoba Brook Bakery is located in Concord, MA and was started by Stuart Witt and John Gates in 1998. The bakery has grown to include 4,000 square feet of kitchen space anchored by a 32,000 pound French bread oven.

Nashoba Brook Bakery specializes in their “slowrise” bread. Slowrise is a technique used to create a glossy, web-like texture in the bread, and is executed by the slow leavening action of the sourdough starter, which is created from local, wild Concord grapes. Nashoba Brook bread take almost 24 hours to bake from mixing to cooling, which results in nutritious and easy to digest breads. The long leavening period works to enhance the flavor, release the nutritional value locked in the wheat flour, and break down the carbohydrate into more easily digested components.

The bakery also serves a growing network of gourmet markets, sandwich shops, caterers, restaurants, supermarkets, hotels and other cafes, including their own.

To learn more about Nashoba Brook Bakery, visit their website here: http://slowrise.com/

A Few of Boston’s Favorite (and Most Iconic) Foods and Restaurants

Boston is a city known for its distinct love of clam chowder, beans, and anything from the sea. However, for us Bostonians, these are more in the category of touristy foods. This week, we are bringing you restaurants, both large and small, and particular dishes that celebrate the unique spirit of Boston’s culinary culture.  Brought to you by Eater Boston, this list is sure to please. Enjoy!

Oyster Slider – Island Creek Oyster Bar

 

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Egg in a Jar—West Bridge, Kendall Square

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The Burger—Craigie on Main, Cambridge

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Prune Stuffed Gnocchi, No. 9 Park, Boston

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Alsatian Pizza, Picco, Boston

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Bucket o’ Biscuits, Sweet Cheeks Q, Boston

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Lesser- Known (and Healthy!) Aphrodisiac Foods

As we are all aware, Valentine’s Day is coming up this weekend. Whether you plan to celebrate with your significant other or not, it’s a fun time to think about so-called ‘aphrodisiac foods’. No one is quite sure if these foods are actually aphrodisiacs, but why not give it a shot?! Beyond oysters and chocolate, we have outlined a few lesser-known aphrodisiac foods to spice up your Valentine’s Day weekend. Enjoy!

Avocado

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The avocado gained an aphrodisiac reputation as far back as the Aztecs. And while the jury is still out on just how lust-ful avocados are, Barbara Klein, professor of food and nutrition at the University of Illinois, told the California Avocado Commission that the fruit’s high levels of vitamin E could help keep the spark alive because of its role in maintaining “youthful vigor and energy level.”

Bananas

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Bananas contain bromelain, an enzyme which Dr. Oz says triggers testosterone production, and the fruit’s potassium and vitamin B elevate energy levels.

Honey

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Who knew that the word ‘honeymoon’ got its name from mead, an alcoholic beverage made from honey given to the happy new bride and groom!? Honey also contains boron, which helps regulate estrogen and testosterone levels and provides a natural energy boost.

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According to sciencedaily.com, this ‘lycopene king’ may have a Viagra-like effect on the body, as it relaxes blood vessels and improves circulation.

Ideas for Staying in This Valentine’s Day

The post-holiday season and winter months are generally the most difficult to get motivated and plan fun nights out. With below zero temperatures and the couch calling our name, sometimes it feels nearly impossible to get dolled up and leave the house. That is precisely why this Valentine’s Day, we are making a proclamation that couples stay in and enjoy a quiet night that is all theirs. We have outlined a few fool-proof ideas below for you to try:

Order Just Add Cooking’s Valentine’s Box

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This idea came about after the mutual agreement that staying home, cooking a nice meal and enjoying it together is much more enjoyable and relaxing than dealing with crowded (and expensive) restaurants. This week, we are offering a special Valentine’s Day box, which will include a special  recipe, a box of chocolates from Boston-based company Apotheker’s, and a candle to help set the mood and bring the restaurant vibe to your home.

Wine Tasting

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Create your very own wine tasting at home by picking out a few white and a few red for you both to try. Pour a little of each into small glasses to decide your favorite, which will of course accompany your dinner. The tasting is a fun at-home activity and can bring back memories even after Valentine’s Day passes.

Create a Staycation at home

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Turn your bathroom into a relaxing spa. Dim the lights, light a few candles and pamper yourself with a facial mask, bubble bath or oil massage.

Head Down Memory Lane

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Pull out some old photos, videos or souvenirs from when you and your significant other first met. There is nothing that will make the night feel more special than reliving those fond memories together.